We already know that nobody does Halloween quite like they do across the pond and let’s be honest - don’t you think the Americans do Christmas a little better too? After all, anyone who’s ever watched Home Alone (and that’s everyone, right?!) has surely pondered the fact that Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin, cute as he was, kinda faded into insignificance beside his neighbourhood’s epic Christmas efforts.
Well, grab your Christmas crackers and jingle those bells with wild abandon because, for the first time this year, London is set to get a little taste of this fabulousness, as innovative hospitality entrepreneurs, Experimental Group, bring the Miracle pop-up to Covent Garden.
Miracle began life in New York in 2014, when bar owner Greg Boehm opened his unfinished space for the holiday season as a pop up with a festive theme. Five years on, the Miracle concept has expanded to over 80 new cities across the U.S, as well as to locations in Asia and Central America.
The London Miracle, which opens today is housed on the mezzanine level at the Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden, making it the perfect place to escape the Christmas shopping crowds around the centre of town - via the cobbled streets of the piazza, to admire its magnificent tree, of course.
Miracle’s tree may not reach the dizzying heights of the one out in the piazza, but it’s still impressively pretty, complete with powdery white ‘snow’ pooled enticingly at its base. If you’ve seen Insta-images of Miracles (@miraclepopup #miraclebar) in the U.S, you may be expecting something quite glitzy and OTT but the vibe at the UK incarnation is distinctly more traditional, with sheepskin throws on the chairs, twinkling fairy lights and Christmas stockings all evoking something of a cosy feeling and a warm glow. It’s definitely more London than Las Vegas, but no less appealing for that.
The bartender, however, is rocking that Christmas jumper and elf hat look - but where the Miracle Bar really ramps up the kitsch factor is in its cocktail list and the vessels in which they’re served: think Santa Face mugs, reindeer embellished highball glasses, tinselled glass stems and holly emblazoned cups. Meanwhile, a Santa-suited Koala clings adorably to the stem of the glass in which the Koala-La La La, La La La La (best you order this one early on, before sampling the menu renders your tongue useless) is served. It’s not just cute: it’s delicious and completely, festively intoxicating.
Other offerings? A Christmas Carol Barrel, made with aged rum, Aquavit, Amara Pumpkin Pie, Lemon and Angostura Bitters, served in, well, a mini barrel naturally. There’s also a Jingle Balls Nog, a Snowball Old Fashioned, a Run Run Rudolph and, of course, a Christmapolitan - vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime and absinthe mist. And as for those whose place on Santa’s list is still in the balance, choose from a selection of two shots - Naughty, or Nice - and see which side you land on. There’s also an array of chalet-inspired snacks, ranging from an Ibérico ham and truffle Croque Madame to Vacherin Mont d’Or grissini and a Chestnut Mont Blanc.
Miracle at Henrietta will be in place until Christmas Eve. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a two hour time slot between 1pm and 1am.
14-15 Henrietta Street
*During my visit I was hosted by the team at Miracle at Henrietta. All opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Miracle Bar.
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